Educational Technology Research and Development

, Volume 48, Issue 3, pp 23–48

An instructional design framework for authentic learning environments

  • Jan Herrington
  • Ron Oliver

DOI: 10.1007/BF02319856

Cite this article as:
Herrington, J. & Oliver, R. ETR&D (2000) 48: 23. doi:10.1007/BF02319856


The instructional technology community is in the midst of a philosophical shift from a behaviorist to a constructivist framework, a move that may begin to address the growing rift between formal school learning and real-life learning. One theory of learning that has the capacity to promote authentic learning is that of situated learning.

The purpose of this three-part study was first, to identify critical characteristics of a situated learning environment from the extensive literature base on the subject; second, to operationalize the critical characteristics of a situated learning environment by designing a multimedia program that incorporated the identified characteristics; and third, to investigate students' perceptions of their experiences using a multimedia package based on a situated learning framework.

The learning environment, for preservice teachers, comprised a multimedia program on assessment in mathematics together with recommended implementation conditions for the classroom. Eight students were observed and interviewed to explore their perceptions of the situated learning environment. Findings suggest that the use of the situated learning framework provided effective instructional design guidelines for the design of an environment for the acquisition of advanced knowledge.

Copyright information

© Association for Educational Communications and Technology 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jan Herrington
    • 1
  • Ron Oliver
    • 2
  1. 1.Edith Cowan University in Western AustraliaAustralia
  2. 2.the School of Communications and MultimediaEdith Cowan UniversityAustralia

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